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Simeone: Atletico no longer fear Real

Atletico boss Diego Simeone is confident his side have "lost their fear" of rivals Real Madrid after a stirring comeback to claim a 2-1 win in the Copa del Rey final on Friday.

• Hunter: Grit trumps pout
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Diego Costa cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo's early opener before Miranda sealed the result with an extra-time header to give Atletico their first win over Real in 14 years.

Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was largely responsible for keeping Los Blancos at bay, making a string of fine saves to frustrate the hosts.

Simeone's side also benefited from a hapless Real who hit the woodwork three times in the match and the Rojiblancos coach believes the Madrid derby is set for a change in fortunes as Atletico work towards shaking the underdog tag in the Spanish capital.

"It was an incredible game. We had the luck needed to win the trophy. What these players have been doing for the past year-and-a-half is incredible," Simeone told reporters.

"They finally lost their fear and the hearts of each player combined to win the match, and it was amazing. We were fortunate because in football, teams that win have a slice of luck. We believed that we'd win the game.

"What brought us these achievements has been this - you see Diego Costa running 50 metres back, see Koke, [Radamel] Falcao and Gabi all sacrificing themselves for the team.

"I'm speechless. Now we have to think about the next game if we want to keep on developing. That's the only way we know."

After a significant drought in the Madrid derby, Simeone believes his side have proved "a reference for people suffering" all over the world with their determination.

"We are the hope for society, a reference for people suffering, who are not enjoying the best of times. If you work hard, your moment will come," he added. "We managed to win the most important game of all. The team played with all their hearts and showed an enormous will to win.

"We admitted in the build-up to the game that they were better than us, but we played better than them and that made us stronger. After losing 2-0 here in the league (in December) I told the players that I wished that destiny would give us the chance to play against them in a final.

"It has been very difficult for us to win a derby, but the support of the fans tonight made us feel like we were playing at home. The fans must be very proud of the team they have. I think the fans would have accepted this moment 14 years ago - to finally beat Madrid in their home, in a final, coming back from being 1-0 down."


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